Fresh Takes Opinion — 12 November 2013

Can we seriously get a law passed that says no one should be working on Thanksgiving or Christmas?

Oh wait, never mind, there are some really great deals at my local big box retailer this year, so who cares of their workers have to spend the day away from their families?

In an increasingly disturbing trend, it seems that more and more retailers are opening their doors on Thanksgiving, a day that’s supposed to be reserved for family, food and football.

Someday soon, in the near future, Thanksgiving the holiday will be phased out and replaced with Black Thursday.

All Americans will be required to do either two things— work or spend.

Think about it. It’s perfect. It’s a summation of the way we as a human species treat each other, which comes to forefront every holiday season.

We trample over each other. We require more and more of each others time. We’re just generally not very nice to most of our fellow human beings and no time of year has started to exemplify how terrible we can be to each other than the holiday season.

So, instead of feigning that we actually care to spread peace and good tidings during the holiday season, let’s just fully embrace our dark holiday spirit and fully embrace Black Thursday.

Here’s what we’ll do.

We’ll get people lining up at each retailer 24-hours in advance at Targets, Walmarts, Best Buys or whatever each consumer’s preference for retail store is.

We’ll cram as many people inside each store and then once each store is at capacity, we’ll lock the doors.

The groups will not be allowed to exit the store for another 24-hour period, or whenever what used to be Thanksgiving is over.

While inside, the shoppers will be equipped with shields, helmets and wooden swords to battle with each other for the best deals. Only the strong will receive the best sale price.

The weak and the maimed shall be left in the dust, doomed to gift upon their children old Furbys and VHS copies of “Titanic” from the Goodwill for Christmas.

You think I’m kidding, but this is pretty much what the holiday season is slowing morphing into— an orgy of greed, mindless consumerism and violence.

Now we’ve thrown the employees of the retail stores that provide most of the Black Friday deals into this sad display of humanity, or lack thereof.

And I’ll bet you a lot of Black Friday shoppers think it’s just great.

These are the people who punch, claw and kick their way towards getting the biggest and best gifts for their loved ones. No doubt the majority couldn’t give one ounce of care that the workers are being forced away from their families on one of the few days of the year reserved for people to spend time with their loved ones.

Nevermind the fact that most of these jobs are low-paying, even with the overtime that the workers will be making. Little money and no quality time with the family.

But no more, not in the new America, not in the world of Black Thursday.

Time with family will become obsolete. Businesses will find more and more ways to increase their bottom lines on the holidays, which means we can all look forward to more people working on the holidays.

Just as long as shoppers get the good stuff and save money, they’ll have no qualms about making life a little more miserable for others.

For many Americans, the choice between saving a few hundred dollars for a large television set and spreading holiday cheer for others is no choice at all.

This all begs the question— what is everyone doing all this shopping for if people don’t care about families anymore? What’s happening to our national character?

From where I’m sitting, it seems like we’re doomed, like this senseless bender of spending and misanthropy will continue and fester and grow for the foreseeable future.

Someday, all business may continue on Thanksgiving and people can shop until their hearts and carts are full.

This holiday season, if you’re fortunate enough to be spending time with your family— savor it.

And do the retail workers of America a big solid, don’t go out on Black Friday, do Cyber Monday instead.

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We are the award-winning student newspaper of Las Positas College in Livermore, Calif.

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